When Perfect Plans Don’t Turn Out The Way You Want

Yep, another Fastness+ post.  Sunday October 15th was officially 60 days until my December trip and it was, you guessed it, time to make my Fastpass+ reservations.  I woke up early (6:45) and got breakfast going so I could get my brain in some sort of working order before logging into My Disney Experience at exactly 6:58 and continuously refreshing until my dates showed up.

Priority #1 was Flight of Passage.  I was already at a bit of a disadvantage as our Animal Kingdom day was towards the beginning of our trip (this is exactly what I have warned against in previous posts), but it couldn’t be avoided as when we were planning this trip (months and months ago), I didn’t anticipate the absolute insanity it would be trying to get one of those Fastpasses.  In times past, the hot ticket attraction Fastpasses were still possible.   I might not have gotten the exact times that I wanted, but the actual fastpasses have always been available to me.  Flight of Passage, though, has been a different beast.  I wasn’t able to get one for our June trip, granted that was less than two weeks after Pandora had officially opened, or for our September trip.  Well, initially, in the craziness that was replanning following Hurricane Irma, I did manage to snag one, but no one was more shocked than me.

Anywho, at exactly 7:00, there were….no Flight of Passage times left for our Animal Kingdom day.  I frantically searched and found one two days later (a Magic Kingdom day, but I was willing to rework things if needed) and I spent the next 20 minutes or so getting all the other fast passes that we had wanted without difficulty.  While re-working the Animal Kingdom day (I had decided to keep the original designated day), I thought I may as well get a Nav’i River Journey since the kids liked it so much.  Lo and behold, a Flight of Passage time appeared!  Not for the morning like we had wanted, but for later that evening.  I grabbed that thing faster than you can say Bob’s your uncle!

Still, 60 days out and our plans are not set in stone.  Our Magic Kingdom (non-party day) we aren’t sure if we’ll want to get up and out of bed bright and early, since we plan on being out late the night before, so I have breakfast and lunch reservations at the same restaurant (Whispering Canyon Cafe, really just an excuse to see the pretty Christmas decorations at Wilderness Lodge).  We plan on an adult-only night and dropping the kids off at a Kid Center and we still aren’t sure where we’ll spend that evening.  And I’m still on the search for a last-minute Ohana dinner reservation that my husband decided he wanted well after the 180 day mark.

So, now it’s time to…wait.  This 60 day stretch is the hardest part of planning a Disney vacation.  I’m thinking…shirts.  And Mickey ears.  I definitely need some custom Christmas Mickey ears.

Girls Make the World Go ‘Round – March 2017 Trip Report

In March 2017, I had the opportunity to go to Disney World with my mom, my sister and my daughter.  The four of us were so excited to get to spend an extended weekend together in our favorite place.

  It was also my daughter’s first trip in an airplane!  She handled it like a champ.

We flew to Orlando on a Thursday evening, and checked into Animal Kingdom Lodge.  This was my third time staying in this resort, Melanie’s second, and my mom and sister’s first time.  Sadly, we arrived really late at night as the flight arrived around 11pm.  By the time we got our rental car and made it to the resort, we were all EXHAUSTED.  On Friday, we headed to Hollywood Studios.    My mom, the lady who raised me to be the nerd I proudly am. Meeting Chewie, always a highlight.  He LOVED my shirt.
 While I love this background, taking your picture first thing in the morning when the sun is in your eyes is not the best idea. LOVE trading with the Jawas!  Want to learn how?  Check out this post.   My sister needed to upgrade her regular ticket to an annual pass, and Melanie needed to rest her tired little feet.

 Epcot next!  My second Flower and Garden festival, but the first time in its “Food & Wine 2.0” incarnation.      Special shirt I made to commemorate the best part – eating!    My new favorite pastime?  Taking pictures of Melanie digging into some Disney food.

 Apparently, my sister and I were the only ones who didn’t realize there was a drop on Frozen Ever After (I hate to admit it, but I had never ridden Maelstrom, so this was all new to me!)

‘Til next time, Epcot! (Because if you don’t take a picture of Spaceship Earth, did you really even go to Epcot?

 Quick stop in Animal Kingdom  Then onto Magic Kingdom for lunch at Be Our Guest.  Our first time dining in the library.  I think it’s my new favorite room! Croque Monsieur.  My go-to meal here.

Ever been stuck on 7 Dwarves Mine Train?  It’s no fun.

I can’t listen to Sleepy snore in my ear for approximately 20 minutes before I start to LOSE MY MIND.  I still don’t know if it’s better or worse than mom and Alyssa having to listen to Sneezy for the same amount of time.   Sneak selfie!

I mentioned that we stayed in Animal Kingdom Lodge.  In case you weren’t aware, Animal Kingdom Lodge is actually two resorts, Jambo House and Kidani Village, which is the DVC resort.  During this trip, we stayed in Kidani Village, because lately we’ve made a habit of renting DVC points for our vacations.

   Pretty much every morning, we ate breakfast at Sanaa, which had just recently opened as a quick service restaurant in the mornings.  There were several grab and go options (listed below) as well as cooked to order meals.

I, for one, was very happy about this new option.  In times past, when we’d stayed at Kidani Village, which was seriously lacking in the quick meal department.


      Animal Kingdom Lodge is easily my favorite Disney resort.  The theming is beyond compare, and the food options are remarkable.  When we plan to visit, I often have to remind myself to branch out to other resorts simply because this one is so beautiful.

I am so grateful I had this opportunity to spend time with my family!  March is also my mom’s birthday month, so we made sure to get her a birthday button (in addition to our celebration button – my favorite souvenir!).

 

It’s Almost That time, and I refuse to panic

In 4 short days, it’ll be time to wake up bright and early and choose Fastpass+ reservations for my family for our Christmas trip this upcoming December.  No matter how many times I’ve done this, there’s always slight panic.  I go through the same process every time:

  • talk with all adults and children to determine what the MUST DOs are so everyone gets a say in the plan
  • look over our broad weekly plan, daily plan and any dining reservations to determine the optimal time for each attraction
  • write down the priority attractions, best times for the aforementioned schedule, and alternates for the hard to get Fastpasses (looking at you Flight of Passage)
  • pray

Do you ever wonder if planning a trip to Disney World is this complicated or if you just make it this way?  Secretly, I think I enjoy all of it.  It helps to “calm the itch” so to speak between trips.  I get to collaborate with my just-as-Disney-crazy-as-I-am sister as we go over every possibility and all of our options.  When you get to go through and plan what the day will be like, it’s almost like you’re getting to live it before it even gets there.

Maybe you aren’t like me, and the planning is stressful, I’m here to tell you just breathe.  It’s never going to be a perfect plan.  As much as I enjoy planning everything down to the smallest detail, do you know how often those plans change?  All.  The.  Time.  More often than not, my perfect plans get thrown out the window due to illness (yes, my kids have gotten sick on vacation), fatigue (we have skipped mornings and evenings in the parks simple because we were too tired), ride closures, evacuations (waiting 3 hours for Flight of Passage just to get walked out of the building at the LAST possible moment), and a host of other things.  I’m on my phone searching for new fast passes and checking wait times more often than not and it’s all OK.  I never come back to my resort thinking it was all a waste, I come back thinking “What a day!  I can’t wait to do that all over again!”.

Behind the Scenes Tours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

My husband and I are planning an adult-only visit to Walt Disney World sometime in 2018.  While there is nothing I love more than planning any Disney World trip, I really love incorporating special requests from my family.  Because I tend to be so type-A, research-mama, crazy planning chick, my husband often leaves the bulk (read 99%) of the planning and scheduling to me.  For this trip, however, he made a special request.  Since Animal Kingdom has started staying open into the late hours of the night, it has quickly become one of our favorite parks.  My husband requested that I look into the special tours and opportunities available because he really wanted to know what was going on in that lookout you can just see jutting out from the Kilamanjaro Safaris path.

So, being who I am, I dove right into the world wide web to find out all I could about the special tours offered in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Caring for Giants

During this 60-minute experience, you’ll meet with dedicated animal specialists who provide for the care and wellness of our African elephant herd. They’ll give you a glimpse into their day-to-day responsibilities as they provide fascinating facts about the elephants.

African cultural representatives will also be on hand to share stories of Disney’s conservation efforts dedicated to the preservation of wild populations throughout their homeland.

Throughout this experience, you’ll be able to observe the elephants from approximately 80 to 100 feet away—so you’ll enjoy a closer encounter with the elephants than you would during other in-park experiences.

Note: A portion of the proceeds is donated to the Disney Conservation Fund.

Cost:  $30 per guest

Recommended Ages:  Any

Savor the Savana:  Evening Safari Experience

Immerse your senses during a privately guided journey and explore the sights and sounds—and tastes—of Africa. Welcome to Savor The Savanna: Evening Safari Experience, an all-new premium tour where you can discover the wonders of the continent’s most amazing creatures… and so much more!

Special Access to the Savanna Your safari begins with a journey deep into the heart of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. As the evening awakens, you’ll soon find yourself within one of the most secluded and breathtaking private viewing areas the Savanna has to offer.

Listen along as your guide tells tales of the unique residents who inhabit the reserve, and don’t hesitate to ask questions as he or she shares insightful information about the wildlife and the special care they’re provided at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.

Premium Eats, Drinks and More
While savoring the Savanna scenery, you’re invited to indulge in a sampling of African-inspired tapas too, paired with a selection of regional beer and wine offerings.

You’ll even be given a commemorative keepsake you can take home—yet another memory that will live on long after your excursion has ended!

Cost:  $169 per guest

Recommended Ages:  8 and up (guests under 8 are not allowed to participate in this experience)

Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour

 

On this 4-hour group guided tour, discover a landscape shimmering with lights and brimming with life at night. Embark on an expedition through the icy peaks of the Himalayas. Ride in an open-air vehicle on the lush African savanna. Journey deep into a bioluminescent rainforest on a river boat. And see a brilliant fusion of water, sound and light at a show that’s unlike anything you’ve experienced before!

Enjoy all this with expedited access via FastPass+ on this brand new, first-of-its-kind tour where you’ll:

Experience Attractions and a Show

  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain (44” height requirement)
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Avatar Flight of Passage (44” height requirement)
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Dinosaur (40” height requirement)
  • The nighttime spectacular Rivers of Light

Delight in a Tasty Drink and Souvenirs
Enjoy signature snacks and a specialty beverage (non-alcoholic or alcoholic beverage—for Guests 21 and older) along with a souvenir lanyard and other surprises.

Cost:  $249 per guest

Recommended Ages:  Any, but guest must meet 44″ height requirement for attractions

 

Wild Africa Trek

Be awestruck viewing wild animals in their natural habitat on the 3-hour Wild Africa Trek. On this privately priced tour, discover animals of nearly every variety living in the Safi River Valley—an uninhibited environment that resembles their home turf in Africa.

Walk along a grassland path, cross a rope bridge and ride in a rugged safari vehicle over an open savanna—with a chance to view African creatures including towering giraffes, powerful rhinos, hippos and crocodiles.

Along your journey, your knowledgeable guide will share insights about the majestic animals you’re viewing as well as the general operation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and details about the park’s dedication to animal conservation.

And as if your safari weren’t memorable enough, you’ll receive a complimentary souvenir as well!

Enjoy your encounters with the animals of the Harambe Reserve while a trained photographer captures all the action and excitement throughout your adventure—a service that’s included with your tour.

At the end of your expedition, you’ll receive a photo code that you can use to access and download images taken during your Wild Africa Trek experience.

Work up an appetite during your trek and then enjoy some first-class, African-inspired snacks.

Sample Menu

Morning

  • Air-dried beef and prosciutto
  • Smoked salmon roulade with dill
  • Fig cake with Boursin cheese
  • Brie cheese and apricot
  • Berry yogurt and dried cranberries
  • Fresh fruit marinated in mint and ginger

Afternoon

  • Chicken curry salad
  • Sun-dried tomato hummus and mini pita
  • Marinated tandoori shrimp
  • Smoked salmon roulade with dill
  • Air-dried beef and prosciutto
  • Fresh fruit marinated in mint and ginger

Cost:  $189-$249 per guest

Recommended Ages:  8 (or at least 48″ tall) and up

 

Honestly, I still can’t decide which is best for us!  Which would you choose?

Childcare Options in Walt Disney World

Ready for a confession?  Even on a family vacation, sometimes I need a break from my children.  There are times when my husband and I want to spend some child-free time together in the parks or go to a restaurant that’s less than kid-friendly.  When these times come up, I am grateful that Disney offers childcare centers and baby-sitters.
 When I mention using Disney childcare, I’m often met with disbelief from family and friends that I’m allowing a stranger to watch my children.  However, all childcare cast members for the in-room baby-sitting are rigorously vetted and have an impressive list of qualifications, including:

  • are at least 18 years of age
  • are certified in child/infant CPR and basic first aid
  • are trained by Kid’s Nite Out & must complete Walt Disney World “Traditions”
  • have previous childcare or teaching experience
  • are thoroughly interviewed, screened, references are checked, and criminal background checks are performed
  • Many of our professional caregivers possess advanced training, a state teaching certificate or a CDA certificate.

In Room Baby-Sitting

Offered by Kid’s Nite Out, in room baby sitting services are available from 8am to 9pm daily.  While not employed by Disney World exactly, this service is the recommended service of Walt Disney World.  Rates are as follows:

  • 1 Child – $18 per hour
  • 2 Children – $21 per hour
  • 3 Children – $24 per hour
  • 4 Children – $26 per hour

All rates are hourly based and there is a four (4) hour minimum charge. Caregiver transportation fee is $10.00.  Interested in booking an in room sitter?  They may be reached at 1-800-696-8105.

Children’s Activity Centers

Disney World also offers four activity centers in various resorts.  They are:

Simba’s Clubhouse in Animal Kingdom Lodge

Sandcastle Club in Beach Club Resort

Lilo’s Playhouse in the Polynesian

Camp Dolphin in the Dolphin Resort


My children have personally visited Simba’s Cubhouse and Lilo’s Playhouse.  They will tell you that they prefer Lilo’s Playhouse, I’m assuming because it is a bit larger with a few more activities.  During their stays, activities have included dress-up, coloring, baking classes, science experiments and character visits!  My daughter still talks about the dance party with Captain Hook and Mr. Smee!

My children beg to attend these Children’s Centers!  They are packed full of fun and activities and the classic Disney customer service and kindness.  I never once worried about their well-being or if they were bored.

A few things to keep in mind about the Children’s Centers

  • Children must be 3 to 12 years old and fully potty-trained. No pull-ups allowed.
  • Rates vary by location. For Simba’s Cubhouse, an hourly rate of $15 is charged per child, with a 2-hour minimum. For Lilo’s Playhouse and Sandcastle Club, a flat rate of $55 is charged per child for the duration of the evening.
  • Dinner is included in the cost of the service and parents can order kid-friendly fare for their children at check-in. Mealtimes are approximate, with dinner served at 6:00 PM and snacks at 10:00 PM. Given prior notice, the Children’s Activity Centers can accommodate children with special dietary needs. No outside food, please.
  • Open from 4:30pm to 12:00am daily.
  • Advance reservations are recommended for all locations. Reservations can be made up to 180 days prior to your arrival at the Resort. Same day walk-ins are welcome based on availability.
  • Call (407) WDW-DINE for reservations.

Though not advertised, we received a 10% annual passholder discount when we requested it.

Camp Dolphin is run a bit differently:

  • Children must be 4 to 12 years old and fully potty trained.  No pull ups are allowed.
  • An hourly rate of $15 per child with a 2 hour minimum.
  • Open from 5:00pm to 12:00am daily.
  • Advance reservations are required for Camp Dolphin. Reservations can be made up to 180 days prior to your arrival at the Resort.
  • Call (407) 934-4241 for reservations.

 

 

 

Strategy Guide for Pandora – The World of Avatar

On May 27th, Walt Disney World opened its newest, and highly anticipated, land in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Pandora – The World of Avatar is an immersive land, located beyond Tiffin’s and the Nomad Lounge and is based on James Cameron’s Avatar movie series.  Walking into Pandora is truly like being transported to that other planet.

First, I’ll talk about the ins and outs of Pandora with tips and tricks on how to experience the best the land has to offer with the shortest wait times.

    Despite the awe that this land may inspire in you, you may be surprised at its relatively small size.

Current map of Animal Kingdom
Map of Pandora

Inside Pandora, you will find 2 new attractions, Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey, in addition to Wind Traders and Colors of Mo’ara, souvenir shops, Pongu Pongu, a kiosk for unique drinks and snacks, and Sati’li Canteen, a quick service restaurant.

Flight of Passage is a screen-based attraction similar to Soarin’ in Epcot.  Though I often describe it as Soarin’ x 10.  For this attraction, you mount a Banshee and are connected to an Avatar to experience flight as a Na’vi would on Pandora.  You’ll experience thrilling drops and turns, while feeling the Banshee “breathe” under your legs.


 The queue for Flight of Passage is nothing short of amazing.  In the outside queue, you get a unique view and perspective of the Floating Mountains.  Inside, you transition from ancient Na’vi cave paintings to industrialized and scientific research experiments.

 The real centerpiece of this queue is the avatar animatronic.  Watching the avatar float with real, lifelike movements is breathtaking and nearly worth the price of admission itself.

The height requirement for this attraction is 44″.  It is also easily the cornerstone of the land itself, so you can expect long lines.  Fastpass+ highly recommended.

Na’vi River Journey is a dark, boat ride attraction suitable for all ages.  While not as exciting as Flight of Passage, it is enjoyable for the whole family.

   It is also beautiful!  The bioluminescence is on full display.   The Shaman of Songs ends your journey, and is the most impressive animatronic I have ever seen.  The movements are so fluid and lifelike, it may cause you to take a second (or third, or fourth) look.  Be warned, her song is an ear worm, and will be stuck in your head for days!

Onto the food!

Menu from Satu’li Canteen
Cheeseburger pods with veggie chips, slaw and boba balls
Build Your Own bowl
Chocolate Cake
Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse


I really enjoy this restaurant.  I’ve eaten as much off of the menu as I could and there really has not been an item that I didn’t enjoy.  My only complaint would be the veggie chips.  They’ve been inconsistent during the times we’ve eaten here, sometimes crispy and fresh, and other times a little limp and soggy.

Outdoor seating at Satu’li Canteen
Indoor seating at Satu’li Canteen

However, there are so many other reasons to give this restaurant a try.  The theming is, of course, ridiculously good.  It has plenty of indoor and covered outdoor seating.  Satu’li Canteen is also the founding restaurant for mobile ordering, which is more convenient than I could ever say.  For a family with small children, being able to order from your seat, having one member of your party collect the food while the other stays with the kids is a lifesaver.

Night Blossom from Pongu Pongu

Pongu Pongu offers quick drinks and snacks.  The Night Blossom is the non-alcoholic offering here, and we were not impressed.  Overly sweet, the large straw (necessary for the Passion Fruit boba balls) was awkward, and overall it was just not our favorite thing.  This is located right outside the Satu’li Canteen and has access to the large, covered seating.

So if you’ve made it this far, you know it’s time for some strategy.  Crowds in Pandora have not trended toward the ebb and flow of other areas in the Disney World parks, as it is still fairly new it is quite busy from park open to park close.  My suggested plan is this:  You are only allowed to Fastpass+ one Pandora attraction, and the clear winner for this is Flight of Passage.  However, this can be very difficult to obtain, even bright and early at the 60 day mark.  As you are planning your trip itinerary, I suggest putting your Animal Kingdom day toward the end of your trip to better your chances of getting that Fastpass.  If you are able to get that Fastpass, and are lucky enough to have times to choose from, I would further suggest making your fastpass+ reservation for after dark.  This guarantees you entrance into Pandora if it hits capacity, and entrance into Flight of Passage without 3+ hour waits.  Late in the evening, I found that Flight of Passage was closed to all guests excluding Fastpass, and stand by only open to resort guests utilizing extra magic hours.

If Na’vi River Journey is the only Fastpass+ you can get, go ahead and get it (for the evening hours so you don’t miss out on all the beautiful bioluminescence) and arrive at Animal Kingdom as early as you can stand to hit Flight of Passage first thing in the morning.  You aren’t guaranteed a “no-wait” experience with this strategy, but our experience was around 45 minutes.

Happy touring!

Height Requirements for Every Attraction in Walt Disney World

While Disney World is known for being inclusive and family friendly, there are attractions that are not appropriate, or safe, for little ones.  To ensure the utmost safety of all guests, Disney has height requirements for specific attractions. If the attraction you are curious about is not listed below, Disney lists it as “any height” and all are welcome to ride.

In Magic Kingdom, the attractions include:

Tomorrowland Speedway (32″)

Barnstormer (35″)

Seven Dwarves Mine Train (38″)

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (40″)

Splash Mountain (40″)

Space Mountain (44″)

In Animal Kingdom, the attractions include:

Kali River Rapids (38″)

DINOSAUR (40″)

Expedition Everest (44″)

Avatar Flight of Passage (44″)

Primeval Whirl (48″)

In Hollywood Studios, the attractions include:

Star Tours (40″)

Tower of Terror (40″)

Rock n Roller Coaster (48″)

In Epcot, the attractions include:

Soarin’ (40″)

Test Track (40″)

Mission SPACE (40″ – green, 44″ – orange)

Be sure to check out my previous blog post on Rider Swap to see how to maximize everyone’s experience.

Attraction Spotlight: Gran Fiesta Tour with the Three Caballeros

 Located inside the Mexican Pavillion, the Gran Fiesta Tour is a gentle boat ride through the sights of Mexico along with the three feathered friends, including Donald.

Donald could pop up anywhere, climbing Mayan pyramid steps in Chichen Itza, diving off a cliff in Acapulco or even disguised as a piñata! José Carioca and Panchito are in hot pursuit on their magical flying serape, treating you to vistas of ancient and modern Mexico on their merry chase.

I love this attractions for several reasons.  One, my kids love it, always a big indicator as to whether we’ll repeat any attraction.  Donald’s antics make them laugh and the animatronics are reminiscent of It’s a Small World.  Two, it’s indoors.  In a park as hot and with as little shade as Epcot, a nice, cool ride is a great break during a tour around the World Showcase.  Three, it’s neat to see the inside of La Hacienda de San Angel, the Table Service located inside the pavilion.  My daughter loved calmly floating by all the diners. Next time you need a quick break, take a stop inside of the Mexico Pavilion and enjoy Donald and his friends!  You may even get a little surprise at the end of your journey.

How to Trade with the Jawas in Star Wars Launch Bay

Unscripted character moments in Disney World are some of my favorite things.  Recently, we visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios and my daughter had the opportunity to “trade” with the Jawas located in Star Wars Launch Bay.

If you aren’t a giant Star Wars nerd like myself, the Jawas are a pygmy rodent-like race inhabiting the desert planet of Tatooine. They are hardworking people who work as scavengers and tinkers, picking up discarded or broken machinery and fixing it up for sale.  In the Launch Bay, they are located between the Chewbacca/Kylo Ren meet and greet and the Cargo Bay.  They free wander, and do not have an official Photopass Photographer.  They are just the neatest little guys, who may come up and take a look at your bracelet, sunglasses or start poking around some of the exhibits.

I knew that you could offer the Jawas something to “trade”, but I’d never really given it much thought, however on a recent trip a fellow guest offered my daughter some gemstones and asked her if she wanted to try it out for herself.

 Melanie offered the Jawa her gemstones. The Jawas discussed with each other whether her offering was worthy. It was!  In exchange, she was given a small toy.  She was delighted to have done this!

Be sure to be ready with your own camera, as there is very little about this that appears planned or scripted, but it’s such a fun experience!

 

The Best and Worst Times to Visit Walt Disney World in 2018

Time and experience have made making this yearly crowd calendar a bit easier each year.  I’ve compiled information based on Walt Disney World events, marathons, holidays and many of the major school district calendars from around the country to put together estimated crowd levels for the entirety of 2018.

I will note, I have, for the most part, marked each weekend as “yellow” or medium crowd levels because you will see an influx of locals during the weekend most of the time.  I’ve noticed over the years there are fewer and fewer “green” or low crowd level times of the year as Disney introduces more events, discounts and other enticements to fill their resorts and parks.  You can expect an influx of crowds in Animal Kingdom in particular, as Pandora: The World of Avatar will have just opened in 2017.  I expect, if Disney stays on track with the summer 2018 opening of Toy Story Land, that crowds will surge even more in the summer months.

Red = high crowd levels expected

Yellow = moderate crowd levels expected

Green = lower crowd levels expected

Downloadable PDF version  2018 WDW Crowd Calendar

A good rule of thumb, if your kids are out of school, most other children in the country are as well and you can expect high crowds, especially look out for Spring break and Winter break. Christmas and New Year’s have the highest crowd levels of the entire year.  However, it is not impossible to visit and have a great time during a “red” period, just make sure you are planning accordingly.  Check out my post about navigating busy times to give you some tips on making the most of your Disney Vacation during particularly busy times.

Also, be sure to look at the pros and cons of each month in Walt Disney World